Bullfighting – Sport, Art or Cruelty

Bull Fighting

Image credit: Flickr JuanJ

How many of you have seen this extreme sport in which the bulls are killed during the game just for the sake of entertainment. Dozens of people also killed during this blood game every year. Many people defend Bullfighting by labeling it as an art or a sport while on the other hand for majority of the people its nothing but cruelty.

Origin of Bullfighting

Bullfighting originated from Spain and as such Spain has become synonymous with this traditional event.  It is said to have then spread to the other countries like Portugal, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and France.  There are in fact modified forms of bullfighting being practiced in some other countries such as Oman and India.  (Many of these countries in fact also have cock-fighting as a favorite pass time).

Bull Fighting

Image credit: Flickr JuanJ

Sport, Art or Cruelty?

The sport, if it can be called one, has been a matter of debate and conflicting ideologies for a very long time with die-hard fans of bullfighting claiming it to be a culturally important tradition and event an art.  Many other people and the animal rights activists naturally see it as a blood-sport openly criticizing the practice as barbarian because as per tradition fighting bulls can only be used once.

How they play

Even today this game is practiced in the same traditional way. It involves professional matadors, bull fighters or toreros which perform various formal moves construed and invented by the bullfighter’s own style or by the school. Such maneuvers are performed at close range, which places the bullfighter at risk of being speared or flattened.

Fact about Red Cape

Bull Fighter

Image credit: Flickr AhBoon.Net

The red color cape is used to attract bull and as per common misconception it is believed that the color red will anger the bull. However, this is not true as bulls are colorblind. The bulls are agitated by the wave of cape and as a tradition till date red color cape is used. The toreros or matador uses his cape to attract the bull in a series of passes which serve the dual purpose of wearing the animal down for the kill and creating a spell bound show for the audiences.

The bullfight usually concludes with the killing of the bull by a single sword push known as estocada. In Portugal, the traditional finale called pega concludes the show. In this men try to grab and hold the bull by its horns and since it is illegal to kill a bull in the arena hence it is removed and slaughtered in the enclosures.

Bullfighting remains in controversy, it being a culture for its supporters and fans, and sheer brutality by many others.

Global anti-bullfighting campaigns and increased sensitization has however seen a definite decline and even complete ban of the practice in some countries and in some regions in Spain.  The events of bullfighting in Spain have fallen by a third during the last 3-4 years.

2 Responses to Bullfighting – Sport, Art or Cruelty
  1. Johnny
    November 6, 2012 | 6:00 pm

    Frankly I love bullfighting. I’ve gone to the bullfights in Spain for over 8 years and find that there is an art to it.

    There are plenty of people who call it brutality or torture. I don’t justify the suffering that the bull goes through, but the fact is the treatment of animals on ranches is much more disturbing to me.

    Go to any large chicken farm, pig farm, or cow ranch that isn’t truly “free range” (which is most of them), or pass by the Harris Ranch beef feedlot in California. These animals spend their days bunched together in incredibly cramped unsanitary conditions, suffer from disease and injuries, and are rarely treated well. These animals may die quickly, and maybe with the least amount of pain possible, but live horrible lives.

    The bulls used in bullfights live on stretches of land as wild animals – there’s no human contact typically. The bulls usually have 5 years of complete freedom and before a bullfight (most cows are slaughtered at 18 to 24 months).

    What’s my point? If you are going to judge something based on the suffering of animals, then you can’t ignore what the entire meat industry does to cows, chickens, and pigs. What those animals go through in life is much more horrible than what a bull can suffer in a bullfight, and complaining about one thing without recognizing the other is hypocrisy.

    If the world were fair, we’d eat a lot less meat, and the meat we did eat would be more expensive and truly free range (I practice this personally, so I put my money where my mouth is).

  2. Lisa Wilder
    April 3, 2014 | 7:33 am

    Anyone who would do or watch an animal being tortured is worthless. I wish nothing but a long, miserable, painful, sad life on you all. You truly are nothing but a bunch of filthy cowards!!!!!!!!

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